Can I Sue a Business if I Was Injured on Their Property?

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Posted on Wednesday, May 1st, 2024 at 9:00 am    

Can I Sue A Business If I Was Injured On Their Property_ image

Suffering an injury on someone else’s property can be traumatic and overwhelming, perhaps doubly so if the accident happens on a commercial property in public. You may face medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering due to the incident. If you find yourself in this situation, you might wonder, “Can I sue a business if I was hurt on their property?” The answer depends on the details of your injury and whether the property owner or business failed to offer a safe environment for visitors.

Slip and fall accidents are among the most common incidents leading to premises liability cases. These incidents occur in various settings, such as grocery stores, restaurants, office buildings, sports arenas, or other commercial properties.

Understanding Premises Liability

Premises liability is a legal concept whereby property owners can be held accountable for injuries that occur because of hazardous conditions on their property. This applies to both private and commercial properties, including businesses.

Examples of dangerous or hazardous conditions that may lead to premises liability cases include:

  • Wet or slippery floors without proper warning signs
  • Uneven or broken sidewalks or stairs
  • Inadequate lighting in parking lots or walkways
  • Loose or missing handrails
  • Objects precariously placed on shelves or displays
  • Exposed electrical wiring or other hazards
  • Improperly maintained elevators or escalators
  • Lack of security measures in high-crime areas

If any of these conditions or similar ones caused your injury, you might have a valid premises liability claim against the business. Documenting the dangerous condition and your injuries as soon as possible is essential to support your claim.

Proving Negligence in Premises Liability Cases

To hold a business liable for your injuries, you must prove that they were negligent and failed to maintain a safe property. Demonstrating negligence requires establishing the following elements:

  • The business owner owed you a duty of care.
  • The business owner breached that duty by failing to keep a safe environment for the public or warn of potential dangers.
  • The breach of duty directly resulted in your injuries.
  • You suffered actual losses due to the incident.

You’ll need evidence to support your claim. This may include:

  • Photographs or videos of the dangerous condition
  • Witness statements from those who saw the incident or the hazardous condition
  • Accident reports filed with the business or local authorities
  • Medical records documenting your injuries and treatment
  • Expert testimony from safety experts or medical professionals

The more evidence you have to support your claim, the stronger your case will be. A seasoned premises liability attorney can assist you in effectively gathering and presenting this evidence.

Illinois Premises Liability Law

In Illinois, property owners have a legal obligation to ensure their premises are maintained in safe condition. When they fail to uphold this responsibility, and someone suffers an injury, they may be held liable for the resulting injuries and losses.

Under Illinois law, you must prove the following to establish a premises liability claim:

  • The defendant owned, occupied, or leased the property where the incident occurred.
  • A dangerous condition existed on the property.
  • The defendant knew or should have known about the dangerous condition.
  • The defendant failed to take reasonable steps to repair or warn of the dangerous condition.
  • You were injured as a direct result of the dangerous condition.

It’s important to note that Illinois follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that if the court finds you more than 50% at fault for your injuries, you will not be able to recover compensation from the property owner. If you are 50% or less at fault, the court can reduce your compensation in proportion to your percentage of fault.

What to Do if You’re Injured on a Business Property

If you suffer an injury on a business property, take these steps to protect your rights and build a strong premises liability case:

  • Report the incident to the business owner or manager immediately.
  • Document the dangerous condition by taking photos or videos.
  • Gather witness contact information if anyone saw the incident.
  • Seek immediate medical attention and follow your doctor’s treatment plan.
  • Maintain organized records of all medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses related to the incident.
  • Contact a premises liability attorney to discuss your legal options.

A seasoned personal injury attorney can help you take on the complexities of a premises liability claim to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Your attorney will also advise you about how long you have to file a lawsuit against the at-fault property owner or manager. Generally, you have two years from the date of the incident to file.

Seeking Compensation for Your Injuries

Can I Sue A Business If I Was Injured On Their Property_ image 2If you successfully establish a premises liability claim against a business, you may be entitled to various types of compensation, including:

  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Lost wages and earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disability or disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

The compensation you receive will depend on the severity of your injuries, the full extent of your accident-related losses, and the strength of your case. Your attorney will assess the full value of your claim and negotiate with the business’s insurance company to obtain a fair settlement.

If an appropriate settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will take your case to court to pursue the compensation you deserve. Your attorney will present your case and the evidence supporting your story and argue your case before a judge or jury.

Contact Wallace Miller Today for Help

Experiencing an injury while on a business premises can be both distressing and agonizing. Should the negligence of the business owner be the cause of the incident, you may have the opportunity to initiate a premises liability claim and pursue compensation for the harm you’ve endured.

Call Wallace Miller at (312) 261-6193 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a skilled Chicago commercial premises liability lawyer. Our compassionate and experienced attorneys will assess your case, answer your questions, and pursue the justice and compensation you deserve. Don’t wait – the sooner you seek legal assistance, the better your chances of a successful outcome.

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